Some Aspects of Indo-Islamic Architecture

Some Aspects of Indo-Islamic Architecture

Some Aspects of Indo-Islamic Architecture

Some Aspects of Indo-Islamic Architecture

Excerpt

The present volume is composed of my seventeen independent research papers which appeared in various journals of art and history from 1984 to 1995. As most of these papers were published abroad, in the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands and Pakistan, these are not easily available to Indian scholars, hence the need of reprinting them in the form of a book was felt. Most of the papers have been thoroughly revised in the light of the evidence which came to my notice after their publication in journals. Also some additional illustrations have been included in the book.

The articles in this book deal with some obscure or little-known monuments of the region which can be termed as “Greater Punjab”, comprising East Punjab, West Punjab and Haryana. Spread over a period of about three hundred years, from fifteenth to seventeenth centuries, these monuments, but for Sarai Nurmahal, were the products of sub-imperial patronage of architecture.

The tomb of Rai Firuz at Hatur is a significant specimen of the Sultanate architecture during the reign of Sayyid rulers, making use of cut brick decoration. The importance of the early Mughal tombs at Hisar cannot be exaggerated as the surviving architectural specimens of Humayun’s period are a few. The monuments of Kalanaur include the historical place where Emperor Akbar was coronated. The second monument discussed in this article, the tomb of Jamil Beg, has since crumbled. So this article is the only detailed record of the monument. The gardens at Sirhind and Nakodar were fine specimens of Mughal garden architecture. Three little-known monuments of Raja Taal include the tank patronised by Akbar’s wellknown noble, Raja Todar Mal. The monuments of Batala bring to light the architectural patronage of unidentified Mughal nobles Shamsher Khan and Qazi Abdul Haq. The sarai and mosque at Fatehabad stand architectural testimony to Jahangir’s victory over the rebel prince Sultan Khusro. The Mughal sarai at Doraha, built by Itmad-ud Daula, is a fine specimen of glazed tile decoration. So are the tombs at Nakodar. The western gateway of Sarai Nurmahal, built by Nur Jahan Begum, has the pride of place being the only one in India so profusely decorated with the carvings of animate motifs. The tombs of Ustad and Shagird at Sirhind are the prototypes of the famous tomb of Khan-i Khanan (Delhi) which is considered a link between the tomb of Humayun and the Taj Mahal. The survey of the depiction of animate motifs on the Muslim monuments of the (East) Punjab and Haryana exposes some hitherto unknown examples. The historical notes on the now extinct mansion of Asaf Khan . . .

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